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Edwin's late hoop lifts Seton Hall over DePaul

The SportsXchange

ROSEMONT, Ill. -- With a timely rebound or better free-throw shooting, DePaul might not have seen Wednesday's game come down to a last-ditch 3-point shot by Jamee Crockett.

Seton Hall's Fuquan Edwin hit a bank shot with seven seconds remaining, giving the Pirates a 73-72 lead, and the score held up when Crockett's shot missed and the ball ricocheted toward half-court as time expired.

The Pirates emerged with the win at Allstate Arena in the Big East opener for both teams.

"A couple of things that hurt us tonight was the free-throw line and our inability to clear the defensive board, especially at the end of the game," DePaul coach Oliver Purnell said. "(So) they scored on their last play."

Edwin missed a jumper seconds early, but Seton Hall rebounded and called a timeout. He took advantage of his second chance for a game-winner.

"We actually used Fuquan as a decoy and then tried to curl Brandon (Mobley) back to the ball," Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard said. "But they did a good job switching on that, and Fuquan did a good job moving without the basketball and got a good cut."

DePaul hit 11 of 17 free throws in the second half, another disappointing result.

"There were a lot of squandered opportunities," Purnell said, "and in a close game, that matters."

The Pirates (12-2) won their seventh straight game, while DePaul (9-5) dropped its second in a row.

Aaron Cosby scored a game-high 24 points for the Pirates. Seton Hall's Brandon Mobley had 16 points and 10 rebounds, while Eugene Teague and Edwin each closed with 11. Teague also grabbed 15 rebounds.

The Pirates hit 10 of 24 shots from 3-point range, with Cosby going 4-for-7.

Crockett paced the Blue Demons with 16 points. Brandon Young had 15 points for DePaul, while Durrell McDonald and Charles McKinney had 12 and 10 points, respectively.

"Sometimes the ball rolls your way, and sometimes it doesn't," Crockett said.

DePaul led 72-71 into the final minute before losing the ball in a scramble with 26 seconds to go, giving the Pirates a chance to pull out the win.

The Blue Demons trailed 40-28 in the first half before trimming the margin to 40-33 by halftime. Seton Hall used hot 3-point shooting to claim an early lead but then struggled from beyond the arc through much of the second half.

DePaul tied the game at 52 on McDonald's 3-pointer with 9:45 to play. Fifty seconds later, Young's layup and free throw opened a 55-52 lead, the Blue Demons' first of the game.

McKinney's bank shot with 8:15 remaining extended a 10-0 run for a 57-52 lead.

Seton Hall roared back thanks to revived long-distance shooting, tying the game at 64 on Mobley's 3-pointer with 5:01 left. But DePaul climbed back ahead at 67-64 on a Young free throw and Crockett's long jumper with 3:53 showing.

The Pirates hit their first four shots -- including three consecutive 3-pointers -- to open a 11-5 lead by the 16:52 mark of the first half. The Blue Demons managed just 2 of 6 in the same span.

DePaul crept to within a point at 11-10 on Worrel Clahar's 3-point play but could never overtake Seton Hall. The Pirates kept the Blue Demons at arm's length and then surged to a 40-28 lead by the final minute as Kyle Smith hit three free throws after being fouled on a baseline 3-point try.

But DePaul sliced the deficit to 40-32 by halftime after a Crockett putback and a McDonald buzzer-beating 2-pointer.

The Pirates were 7 of 12 from beyond the arc in the first half behind Cosby's 15 points. The Blue Demons hit 14 of 34 (41.2 percent) from the field while Crockett hit seven points.

Seton Hall resumes Big East play Saturday at Notre Dame, while DePaul plays at Providence on Saturday.

NOTES: The Blue Demons have one win in eight Big East Conference openers, and they have lost five straight. Their lone win in that span came by a 84-78 score over then-No. 17 Villanova in 2007-08. Last year, DePaul fell 87-68 to No. 1 Syracuse in a league opener at Allstate Arena ... Cleveland Melvin's season-long streak of scoring double figures ended last Saturday after 26 games in a non-conference loss to city rival Loyola. The DePaul forward scored six points Wednesday. ... Seton Hall and DePaul met twice in Big East play last year, but only one game is scheduled for 2013 ... Pirates junior guard/forward Brian Oliver earned Big East honor roll citation this week after he scored 20 points -- all in the first half -- with six 3-pointers in a 60-59 victory over Stony Brook. That victory closed out Seton Hall's first perfect December (6-0) since 1998-99 ... DePaul was ranked 28th in the country with an average of 9.5 steals per game entering the week. The Blue Demons had 13 steals Wednesday.
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